【Bible Study】2 Samuel 9: David Was a Grateful Man

Hello everyone, let us discuss about 2 Samuel chapter 9. Although the content of Chapter 9 is short, the questions raised here are still very acute. In fact, whether it was 1 Samuel or 2 Samuel, in the entire Book of Samuel, was about various important characters. The first character was Eli, who formed a sharp contrast with Samuel and the second character was Saul and David, who also formed a sharp contrast.

Topic of this chapter is “David was a grateful man! Why not showed kindness, but be grateful? Jonathan protected David, but David did not say, “Thank God!” Then he did nothing. On the contrary, he missed his beloved friend. They were good brothers. Some people said that they were gay or bisexual. We are not certain, and we should not talk nonsense. Anyway, we know that the relationship between these two brothers were extremely good. In the Northeast China, if two brothers get along particularly well, they will take a bath together and chat while rubbing each other in the bathhouse. Southerners of China may not be used to or accept this, but this is the custom in the Northeast China. What I am trying to imply is that the relationship between David and Jonathan were good brothers and close brothers.

David did not forget his good brother Jonathan

David and Jonathan adored each other! Their relationship is beyond our imagination. How good is it? Originally, Jonathan could succeed his father's throne, but he did not value the throne as he knew that God had given this anointing to David, and their relationship went beyond friends and core interests. It was a relationship in which a friend was willing to risk his life for the sake of his friend.

If you were David, you would be so lucky to have a good brother like Jonathan in your life! However, after Jonathan's death, will you still remember this good brother? After David became king, he was very busy with many official affairs. Even so, he still did not forget his good brother Jonathan. It was not like some people who work as a lawyer and are busy all day long. Some people who work as accountants are also busy and some people run a small business and are even busier than before. Many people are too busy with their own affairs, so how can they have time to think about good friends, good brothers, and God? It has long been thrown out of the window and mind their own business.

All these years were not easy for David, and he had been fighting all his life and finally he could settle down. However, he did not forget his good friend Jonathan. David's first concern was that when he was king in Hebron, he often fought with Saul and his family. Ishbosheth was Jonathan's brother and Mephibosheth's uncle. Ishbosheth and Abner fought against David for seven or eight years. How could Ishbosheth have time to take care of Jonathan’s son? Ishbosheth was the royal uncle of Jonathan's son. Fortunately, he followed his royal uncle, Ishbosheth and at least he would not lack food or clothing.

After a while, the other tribes of Israel submitted to David. The integration of the two countries were very complicated. These accounts alone were enough to keep them busy, so they start to integrate and establish leaders. Who would be the Minister of Finance? Who would be the governor? Which province was he in charge? They were all very complicated tasks, and so busy that he was confused. After calming down for a while, he transported the Ark of God to Jerusalem and drove out the local Jebusites. In the process of transporting the Ark of the Covenant, Uzzah was killed by God. David felt as if a five-Flavors bottle had been knocked over, and he felt all kinds of Flavors. David's life was not easy. After he finished all these things, he began to settle down and began to think about the temple of God.

As soon as he settled down, he thought of his good friend Jonathan. He also wanted to know the situation of Mephibosheth, so he called Ziba, the servant of Saul's house. Ziba was a very powerful man. He swallowed up all the property of Saul's family because he had fifteen sons to support. The Bible did not say how many wives he had, but he had fifteen sons. We know that Jacob had four wives and gave birth to twelve sons. It is hard to calculate how many wives Ziba has, but there were at least five wives. I can count them quite clearly. When Ziba was called, David asked him if there was anyone else in Saul's house. In fact, David only cared about the son of his good friend Jonathan. Ziba was very observant:

The king asked, “Is there no one still alive from the house of Saul to whom I can show God’s kindness?” Ziba answered the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan; he is lame in both feet.” 2 Samuel 9:3 NIV

Ziba knew that King David and Jonathan were very good friends, so he said: There was also a son of Jonathan who was lame. He became lame because at that time he fell. Ziba was extremely smart in what he said. He would not talk about Saul's other descendants so he could gain all the inheritances. He was rich and had maintained 20 servants. If you have 20 maids at home, how can you afford them? Of course you can't afford it. According to the current living standards, hiring a housekeeper in Shanghai and Beijing costs 10,000 yuan, and 20 people will be paid 200,000 yuan a month. Even if it is 5,000, you still have to pay 100,000 every month. Ziba was an old and powerful person. He was very smart:

“Where is he?” the king asked. Ziba answered, “He is at the house of Makir son of Ammiel in Lo Debar.”

Sound strange? Ziba was a servant of Saul's house, so why did he send Mephibosheth to another man's house? It may also be that Ziba occupied the land of Saul's family and moved his grandson to another family. Fortunately, he also knew that it was at Makir's house, or that Ziba might have done it himself so that Mephibosheth could retire there. David was very powerful. In fact, he did not need to ask Ziba. His intelligence agency had already figured out the situation. In fact, David's question to Ziba was just a formality.

This proved one thing. David was very grateful and did not forget that half of his life was given by Jonathan. Of course, it was probably arranged by God to help him through Jonathan, who became his benefactor. Jonathan was not only his good friend but also his benefactor. Jonathan once said to David, “Promise me that you will be kind to my descendants in the future.” David swore to God and promised him. David meant what he said, and he would be an ungrateful person if he just said it but did not fulfil it. Brothers and sisters must know that God hates ungrateful people. Those who are grateful are those who please God, but nowadays there are very few people who are grateful.

Let me tell you my inner thoughts. Every leader among us is loyal. The church at that time was very desolate. Maybe it was because the visions and dreams I had released were too beautiful, and the bread painting was too beautiful. Under such circumstances, they were willing to follow me until now. They have been following me for these eight or nine years, and I am very grateful. Although I was a bit temperamental when I served them, I am very grateful. I served them as if I were serving God. It was hard to find people who are grateful and loyal. Why does the author write about David doing a trivial thing in 2 Samuel? Is it really insignificant?

This highlighted David's was a grateful person and showed his gratitude. Gratitude is a very pleasing quality to God. Some people are young, but they are very ungrateful. Let me tell you, God not only hates ungrateful people, but God also hates unfaithful people. Since God hates ungrateful and unfaithful people and we have to follow what God hates. It is difficult to change this bad attitude. When did you see an ungrateful person become a grateful person? It cannot be changed. Once, I shared this with my colleagues, “A leopard never changes its spots”.

We should not be ungrateful people. People with this kind of character and attributes will have a hard time surviving. Looking around, I feel grateful every time I see the brothers and sisters among us, because you are all grateful people. It does not matter whether you do things well or bad. What matters the most is that you all have the quality of gratitude.

Therefore, I serve you as though I am serving God. But you should be careful and look at the people you shepherd. If you encounter ungrateful people, you must be especially careful, as well as those who do not honour their parents. I do not call it filial piety, but I call it honour, because filial piety is a bit tricky by just obeying and forget to cultivate. Those are all ungrateful people. I encourage everyone to honour your parents as it was the fifth commandment in the Ten Commandments and is very important. David called Mephibosheth and made the best arrangement for Mephibosheth.

David’s arrangements for Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth

So King David had him brought from Lo Debar, from the house of Makir son of Ammiel. When Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David, he bowed down to pay him honor. David said, “Mephibosheth!” “At your service,” he replied. “Don’t be afraid,” David said to him, “for I will surely show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan. I will restore to you all the land that belonged to your grandfather Saul, and you will always eat at my table.”

Why did David arrange such an arrangement? All because of Jonathan’s grace and kindness shown to David. David was very grateful. How did David arrange for Mephibosheth? Firstly, all the land of Saul’s family belonged to Mephibosheth. But Mephibosheth was lame, so someone had to farm the land for him. They arranged Ziba, who was a servant of Saul's family, but this man was a bit corrupt and made himself quite rich. When David saw that Mephibosheth's management ability was weak, he told him, “Come and eat with me. Then he put Ziba and his sons in charge of Mephibosheth's inheritance.

David's arrangement for Mephibosheth so that he could eat with the king was a great grace. Just like when the head of state of a certain country comes, it was like a state banquet to serve, and they had to eat together, that was a big deal. Eating with the king and you can solve all his problems with one sentence anytime, anywhere. I think David’s way of giving thanks was particularly good.

Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth

Mephibosheth had to know was why did King David arrange for him to eat together? Was it for some trivial matters at home? No! So what is the purpose of eating together? In fact, he wanted Mephibosheth to learn from David's shrewdness. David was the most powerful and rare management talent in history. Every meal was actually learning. David must had organised an official business for every meal, and Mephibosheth was definitely not sitting on a small bench next to him. Even if he was sitting on a small bench, he had to listen carefully as David was hosting a banquet with some kings, he arranged for Mephibosheth to accompany him.

During the dinner, they might have talked to David and said, "Hey, why are you a cripple eating with us?" David would say, “This is the son of my good friend Jonathan, and I will show mercy to him.” How did Jonathan show kindness to him back then, and how would he repay the kindness? After finishing speaking, he would continue talking to them about business matters. In fact, everything to talk about when eating is very important. Chinese people basically talk about things while eating. The Chinese are very similar to the Israelis. If we have a meal together and a glass of wine, we can settle things quickly. So Mephibosheth knew what kind of person his servant Ziba was. He should always ask David how he should manage Ziba as Ziba was wiser than Mephibosheth, if the servant was wiser than the king, as it was recorded in the Book of Ecclesiastes:

I have seen slaves on horseback, while princes go on foot like slaves. Ecclesiastes 10:7 NIV

If you have a very smart subordinate, but you are a very stupid boss, it will definitely be a big issue as you cannot handle your subordinate. So, you have to think about this slowly. What kind of person can you manage? If you cannot control such people, do not control them. Later, Ziba mismanaged Mephibosheth's property. Although this chapter was not written, the next chapter was written. Mephibosheth was ignored and tricked by Ziba, and when David was fleeing, he betrayed his master.

You have to ask yourself, are we smart people? Was not a tragedy when you were with David every day but were not smart? Even if you say to David, “I don’t know how, please teach me.” David’s family was full of teachers! If you are the master but are not smart, you will not be able to do it; if you are managing a business, you will not be able to manage it if you are not smart. You think you can manage it, but can you manage it? Why should people work hard for you? It will be good if they do not deceive you. Do you not deserve to be deceived? All because you are not smart. Later, Mephibosheth was ignored, but Mephibosheth's reaction in front of David was wise:

Mephibosheth bowed down and said, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” 2 Samuel 9:8 NIV

In fact, this sentence he mentioned was incorrect. Mephibosheth had to know the source of David's treatment of him like this. The source of this treatment was that Jonathan and David were good friends. It was not because of Mephibosheth. It did not matter whether you were a dead dog or not. If you are a grateful, wise, and loyal person, if David said, “I showed favour to Mephibosheth because of Mephibosheth, then he could say, “I am just a dead dog.” But at this time, he should say, “I am fortunate to be my father's son. I am really grateful that I have such a father. Moreover, my father and you are close friends by fate. Now I am your son!”

It did not matter whether the dog was dead or not, you actually commemorated my father and showed kindness to me, and now I will be your son in front of you! This is called the correct response. Never say: I am a dead dog; I am so stupid. At this time, bringing the relationship closer was the most important thing. Mephibosheth could say, “This is my father’s grace! King, what a grace it is for you to accept me as your son!” Are we not all God’s adopted children? When you come before God, do not say you are a dead dog. Does God care if you are a dead dog? What God cares about is that we come before Him and we should be grateful and faithful.

From now on, you need to practice speaking correctly and get rid of the garbage in your mind. People could not speak because the things in their heads are polluted. How can you say anything smart when you have stupid things in your head? I want to tell you what I think. For so many years, I hope that all our brothers and sisters can become smart people. Everyone should know that loving God and being grateful are wise decisions because God is pleased.

How wonderful it is that God is happy! Why must we seek wrath from God? As long as you come among us, I hope you will become smarter, more valuable, and more prosperous! Do you think there is something wrong with Mephibosheth’s response? He should say, “Oh, I am lucky to be my father's son. Although my father is dead, the relationship between you has given me such grace. I must learn from my father!”

The Servant of Saul, Ziba

This is very interesting! Ziba, a servant of Saul's house, was a wealthy man. Ziba seemed to be the steward of Saul's house, but he took charge of everything in Saul's house and put it under his own name. Was this loyalty? He was Disloyal person. Later, he had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Where did the money come from? They were all from the house of Saul. Saul was not very smart at the time and failed to take care of this servant.

We do not know whether Jonathan paid any attention to this matter. Anyway, during the time of Mephibosheth, Mephibosheth ran to the house of Makir, the son of Ammiel, and was taken in and raised there. What happened? Saul's family property was "privatized" by Ziba. The current word is "privatization". No formalities have been completed; it was over. This proved that Ziba was ungrateful and unfaithful. From a human perspective, Ziba was a very smart person; but from God’s perspective, he was a cursed person. He coveted other people's property, which was a fatal thing in the Ten Commandments.

Ziba coveted other people's property, and now David said, “Give all the property of Saul's house to Mephibosheth. You were in charge of this thing before, and now you are in charge of Mephibosheth.” At this time, Ziba knew he could not disobey David. If he sneered again in front of King David, King David would crush him like an ant. “You are a brat; you are neither grateful nor loyal. I will arrange a job for you now. And you better do it well.” Your job and your twenty servants were to serve Mephibosheth. This move was absolutely awesome! Good job! As for Mephibosheth, he would be eating at my place. Be careful. If you play up, you would be in hot soup.

However, this Mephibosheth was failed to manage. Can Ziba's heart be balanced? Ziba was definitely unbalanced, thinking about how to take revenge all day long, and getting upset. It He went to work in the fields, hoeing and cursing at the same time. Ziba felt miserable as he used to feel like he had finally joined the upper class, but now he felt like a servant again. He thought he was rich and had become a nouveau riche, but now he had been brought back to his original state, back to before liberation. Will those who are naturally unfaithful and ungrateful become loyal in the future? When the time came, Ziba later betrayed his master.

Our brothers and sisters must be careful! What to be careful about? Be careful who you are shepherding. The person I shepherd, I know immediately what kind of person he is. Anyway, I do not have many nice things to say here. Do you know why? Let me tell you the bottom line, it is normal for people to be ungrateful, but grateful people are rare treasures. 5 grams of gold can be found in one ton of sand. Those 5 grams of gold are treasures, and one ton of sand is the norm. No matter what it is, you should always be careful and grab a handful. How much gold is there? Not much gold. For example, if you raise three children, how many of them are gold? I have seen many parents raising children who are troubled! The children only worry about their parents' property every day, so how can they have time to support and Honor their parents? I am sighing! Do you think that is smart? That is not smart, that's stupid.

Such ungrateful people, whether they are children or passers-by on the street, are the norm. We just want to find rare treasures, and not only do we want to be a grateful person like David, but we also want to be a person who is loyal to God. Our church has only rectified so many people until now, and a small number of them are still being sifted slowly. Anyway, I figured it out and I do not want to do more.

Gideon in the Book of Judges gathered 30,000 men to fight. God said, No! What a bunch of morons. If there was a slight hinderance, these people would run away first. As soon as someone ran away, everyone followed him, attracting all the demons. Later, twenty thousand people were screened out, twenty thousand people were screened out, ten thousand people were screened out, and ten thousand people were screened out, and three hundred people were screened out. As a result, these three hundred people were invincible! If you ask me, do you need 30,000 people or 300 people? Of course, 30,000 people have a lot of offerings and tithes, but among the 300 people there are more loyal people among them. Why should I want more offerings and tithes? I only want the faithful and loyal people.

Brothers and sisters must know that loyalty and gratitude are a kind of shrewdness, and those who are not shrewd cannot achieve it. Of course, if you are a carpenter and your hands are a bit clumsy, that does not matter. But gratitude and faithfulness are a form of wisdom. Before God, this is not on the same level as the wisdom of a carpenter. It is completely different. God is pleased with people who are loyal and grateful.

Through Ziba, we need to begin to re-understand how many people in this world are like this? It does not mean shouting loyalty with your mouth, but not being loyal in your heart. In fact, loyalty deep down is the treasure. If you ask me what I am doing, this is what I'm doing. Is it abnormal to speak a little harshly sometimes? After I finished speaking, I saw many types of reactions. All regional leaders and group leaders no matter what your hierarchy are big or small among us all need to learn this. Firstly, be a grateful person, and then learn whether you can recognize grateful people. David was a grateful man. It was not that you forget when you are busy, but you will not forget no matter how busy you are, because that was what we promised.

May God bless everyone!

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